CCS in Europe: doomed

Reuters reports that a new study warns that Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology might barely get past the testing phase in Europe as the economic crisis and a shift to green power destroys incentives. Massive European investment in renewable energy will reduce demand for carbon emissions permits in 2020, dragging down their price and undermining investment in CCS says the report, "EU Energy Trends to 2030", by the National Technical University of Athens. The complex computer modelling exercise, commissioned by EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger, factors in all of the EU's latest climate and energy legislation, most importantly the 2008 renewable energy directive.

"The lower carbon price does not allow a competitive marketing of CCS," says the report. The study sees carbon prices rising just 7 per cent to the equivalent of €16.50 a tonne in 2020 and €18.70 a tonne in 2030. The power industry hopes CCS will allow it to continue burning cheap and abundant coal supplies, trapping and burying waste emissions underground to prevent them from exacerbating climate change. But additional costs of around €1 billion per power plant have prevented CCS from taking off.

Reuters, 17 September 2010, Pete Harrison.

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